If you are afflicted by Irritable Bowel Syndrome you already know that while its not classified as a disease, it can be very debilitating.
There is no magic pill or set cure that can relieve your symptoms, but you will be happy to know that with some changes in your lifestyle such as diet, exercise and supplementation, you can relieve many of the symptoms of IBS and actually live a more comfortable and enjoyable life.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also called spastic colon, is a functional bowel disorder that can be characterized by mild to severe abdominal pain or discomfort. It can cause bloating and an alteration of your bowel habits.
People with IBS are believed to have nerves and muscles in the bowel that appear to be extra sensitive. They many contract too much when the person eats or the nerves may react when the bowel stretches, both of these can cause cramping and pain. The symptoms of course are abdominal pain relieved by or associated with bowel movement, chronic diarrhea, constipation or both.
IBS is a syndrome, meaning it is a group of symptoms. It is not classified as a disease but a functional disorder meaning the bowel doesn't function correctly.
Often times, Irritable Bowel Syndrome begins after a stressful life event or possibly after an infection. It can also be tied to problems with your immune system.
IBS really has no cure; however, there are lifestyle changes you can make that can relieve your symptoms.
Because Irritable Bowel Syndrome is related to the colon and the digestive system, what you eat and how you eat are big factors in controlling IBS.
Fiber is very important for helping with IBS. Be careful to add a little at a time to your daily diet plan. Too much can trigger gas, which triggers symptoms in an IBS person. A good fiber powder is recommended. Remember, all fiber is not equal.
Adding fiber foods is also good, whole grain breads, fruits, vegetables, but again, small amounts at a time until the body can get used to more fiber.
Eat small meals, several times a day rather than large meals.
Laxatives may be prescribed but most laxatives strip rather than making the bowels work and laxatives make them weak. I do recommend the Herbal Laxative developed by a prominent Doctor years ago. Two of the herbs in the product make the intestine and bowel work and become strong.
People have reported stress will make IBS symptoms worse. "Stress" creates damage in all parts of the body and should be "tamed" if possible.
Carbonated drinks, fatty foods, chocolate, milk, alcohol and caffeine can also trigger symptoms.
Drink lots of water. Be sure to get at least 6-8 cups of water each day. It will help keep the stool soft (especially important with increased fiber intake) and it will keep you hydrated if you are experiencing diarrhea.
Exercise is always good for the body and keeping it functioning properly. It doesn't have to be extreme. A nice walk that gets your body feeling warm is perfect. If you are "new" to prescribed exercise, the 5 out plan works well. Just walk 5 minutes away from home and then you HAVE to walk 5 minutes back. As you feel up to it increase the time walking away from home. It's easy, reduces stress and you might even meet some of your neighbors.
There are three stages for adding supplements recommended for people that have Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Stage 1: Start the healing process – The following supplements are a good way to get started towards relieving IBS symptoms
Stage 2: Rebuild health and better bowel function – Now that the healing has started, we want to get the colon back to optimal health
Stage 3: Maintenance – Keeping your colon healthy and working right goes a long way towards relieving Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Everyone is different and the amount of supplements and how long you take them will vary. Some of the stage 1 and 2 supplements should be included in your maintenance program.
The 3 stages don't have a set time table. The best information you will ever get is the information your body is giving you. Start slow, give the supplements time to help and listen to your body on what is working for you.
I would love to hear your success stories. Many of us have little problems in life and the support of others gives a good deal of relief and helps us all keep up the faith.
Remember a little education goes a long way! Think about it!